Spurs are looking a bit reborn. Natürlich, we spent £100m so it’s a bit disingenuous to act too surprised or suggest it was only a matter of time before the Tottingham way kicked into gear. But Lewis Holtby cost less than a hundreth of the total spend as we beat Villa 0-4 away.
Fritz was a star of the show, but his grit and intelligence is something Sandro and Paulinho also displayed in spades. He set up yet another two goals plus the corner to make it another stand out performance.
This was a game that Villa had clearly decided to elbow, drag, nudge and bully their way through. Somebody must have been showing them out of date show reels. Sandro in particular, gave a masterclass in how you smash people up as a bi-product of winning the ball. Paulinho is looking increasingly like very good value for money.
The contentious issue for some will be Defoe. How is a guy so keen to score who, given a chance, quite often does, still come in for criticism? The problem is a straightforward one. Our game style under André is such that a shoot on sight mentality undermines and not compliments it.
Eh? By this, we’re holding the ball so well, pressing so well, it’s disruptive to the pattern to wallop the ball either straight at the keeper or into row J.
No serious analyst will score a player or a team points for having a go. Attempts don’t win prizes. You only get an A for effort for so long before so heartless barsteward asks “what did you actually achieve?”
We will never achieve all that we need to with Defoe as a main striker and Townsend as a potshoteer. I drag Andros into this because wastefulness is our enemy. A cursory glance at the stats, as dull a task as that might occasionally be, backs this up. Squandering possession is soul destroying when you have better options. We have better options. Chadli, Soldado and Lamela are three I can name off the top of my head.
Holtby embraces this. It’s working wonders for him and Spurs. Everyone’s singing his praises. It’s not complicated.
Elsewhere, Cheriches’ debut was solid enough. This was a hustle bustle affair he kept his head and looked to feed the midfield. Bonzo was sufficiently medicated and Fryers kinda got away with it, rather than passed muster. Maybe I’m being tough on the kid.